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by Donald E. Westlake
Hard Case Crime, February 2022
256 pages
$19.95 CAD
ISBN: 1789098181

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I've long been a fan of the American crime novelist Donald Westlake. Over an illustrious career spanning more than three decades and using a dozen pen names the late multiple-award-winner and MWA Grandmaster authored many unique and memorable crime novels. Among my personal favourites (each revealing his trademark sardonic wit), are BROTHERS KEEPERS, TRUST ME ON THIS, DON'T ASK, THE FUGITIVE PIGEON, THE MALTESE HERRING, and GOD SAVE THE MARK. His many fans will no doubt add their own favourites from a career spanning five decades and running to nearly eighty novels.

When Westlake died in 2008 it looked as though his entertaining stream of humourous adventures had finally died with him. But never say never. Now, from the grave, it seems, Westlake has risen to enrich the literary world with yet another tale, a final (and previously unpublished) novel. It involves a spontaneous road trip across America by taxicab that, tantalizingly, although it involves a mystery, contains no actual crime unless, that is, you count the occasional speeding infractions incurred in their journey. It begins when cabbie Tom Fletcher picks up a beautiful but enigmatic young woman named Katherine Scott in New York City, and finds himself headed for Los Angeles. But you'll have to read the book to see why his passenger wants to make the trip by taxi and whether they actually make it. Along the way they encounter many unfamiliar places and their share of quirky people, and make more than a few self-discoveries as well. The result is a totally original and captivating odyssey that will keep you enthralled until the very last page. It's all vintage Westlake, and if you've never encountered him before, you're in for a real treat.

In addition to being a reviewer with over six hundred reviews to his credit, Jim Napier is the acclaimed author of Legacy and Ridley's War, in the British-based Colin McDermott mystery series.

Reviewed by Jim Napier, February 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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